Are Online MPharm Courses Valid in India? Everything You Must Know



25 April, 2024

Are Online MPharm Courses Valid in India? Everything You Must Know

The pharmacy industry is among the few sectors that have shown double-digit compound annual growth in the past years. To accommodate the growing demand, AICTE increased the seats in diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate courses. Pharmacy professionals are very involved in research and development, requiring high-end knowledge. While working in real-time, professionals face skill gaps, so they plan to pursue higher education. MPharm, being an advanced degree, is popularly chosen by pharmacy aspirants.

Among the candidates, there needs to be more clarity about whether online and distance MPharm courses are available in India or if the degree is valid. Well, the concern is natural. Pharmacy is a practical and experience-based course that involves hours of lab work. This degree includes various subjects such as drug manufacturing, medicinal chemistry, and pharmaceutical engineering.

If you are thinking of pursuing an online MPharma course, this blog will help you learn about its validity and credibility.

Governing Rules for MPharm Course

To check whether a particular course is valid, first, you should be aware of the regulatory bodies that set the standards for these courses. Let’s take a look at that:

  1. Pharmacy Council of India:

    Every level of pharmacy education in India is governed and regulated by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). The statutory body works under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The profession in India, from education to practice, is regulated by PCI. As per the regulations, pharmacy programmes are real-time practice-based courses that can only be offered online or in distance mode once their standards are met. Also, the infrastructure should be appropriate.

  2. University Grants Commission:

    UGC is the one governing body which regulates all aspects of the Indian education system in the country. As per the latest guidelines, the UGC prohibits online delivery of courses such as pharmacy, dental, medicine, and nursing among others. If they are permitted by other governing bodies, they can be offered while making sure the quality of the course meets the UGC standards.

  3. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE):

    AICTE approves pharmacy courses in India, but they are not mandatory, per the Supreme Court of India’s decision in 2014. UGC has also released new guidelines that state that universities do not require AICTE approval for ODL and online courses.

It can be deduced that all formats of pharmacy education must have UGC or PCI approval. Your degree will be considered valid only if PCI approves and recognises an educational institution offering online MPharm courses. PCI has not validated online MPharm courses in India yet.

What Does it Mean for Pharmacy Students?

  • For a field like pharmacy, you need rigorous practical training regularly. It is not feasible to provide such facilities online, so the chances of pharmacy courses being offered online are low.

  • There are UGC-DEB and PCI-approved colleges that offer diploma and certificate courses in pharmacy-related areas. These courses are more theory-oriented, so they are valid and credible.

  • Aspiring pharmacy candidates can look for well-accredited alternatives like an online/distance MBA in pharmaceutical management specialisation. Yes, it is not a practical science-related course, but it provides an excellent opportunity to build management skills and improve your professional career. Moreover, for those of you who intend to enter the production and manufacturing side of the pharmacy industry, pursuing an online MBA in this specialisation will be more suitable.

  • Offline MPharm courses offer more networking opportunities and research lab experience, which is a limitation of online courses.

Career Opportunities after MPharm Courses

Pharmacy is a vast field including various sectors such as clinical, research, manufacturing, and regulatory affairs among others.

Job Role  Average Salary
Pharmacologist INR 4.8 LPA
Oncology Pharmacist INR 3 LPA
Assistant Professor INR 5.4 LPA
Research Scientist INR 9.1 LPA
Medical Writer INR 6.8 LPA
Production Manager INR 14.4 LPA
Medical Representative INR 3.5 LPA

Source: Ambition Box

The job roles can vary as per the specialisation you have chosen and your past experience. For candidates of all the domains, the top can be:

  • Pharmacies

  • Drug research centres

  • Healthcare institutions

  • Government jobs

  • Biotech firms

  • Manufacturing firms

  • Ayurvedic or herbal industry

Ending Note

Online MPharm still needs to be validated for all the above reasons. The accreditation of your online degree is a must; there’s no alternative to that. Thus, keen research and analysis are vital while choosing a course and college. Meanwhile, online education is improving with each passing day, and an upgrade in the system can also make considerable changes in this aspect. Initiatives like hybrid learning, where theory classes are conducted online, whereas practical sessions can be held on evenings or weekends. This arrangement can help maintain the standard of education and benefit the working professionals.

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